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Walking while intoxicated? Think again

When you hear last call at your local bar in St. Paul, Minnesota, you may think that it will be smart to walk back to your apartment. It is only a mile away and it’s safer than driving and less money than a cab, right?

While many know the dangers of drunk driving, not everyone realizes that drunk walking can put you in danger as well. Recent statistics show that walking home, or being a pedestrian in general, while intoxicated may not be the safest option. There were nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016, and almost half of those involved an intoxicated individual.

Why is drunk-walking so dangerous?

There are factors that can play into why being a pedestrian while intoxicated is dangerous. They include:

  • It is dark: A majority of individuals choose to go out on the town when it is dark outside, making the lighting conditions not ideal for the one who is walking home. Dimly lit streets and walkways can make it harder for cars to see pedestrians until it is too late.
  • More likely to cross the street without looking: It is common knowledge that when you are intoxicated you are not thinking as clearly as when you are sober. For this reason, you may choose to cross the street at an inconvenient time or when you are not in a crosswalk. Either of these situations could have you walking into the path of an oncoming car.
  • Choice in dress: If you are not already wearing it, there is little likelihood that you will stop to put on a neon shirt or reflective jacket before heading out to roam the street. If you are wearing dark or muted clothing, it can make you harder to see for oncoming cars, thus putting you in more danger.

When you are contemplating your options on how to get home after a night of drinking, you may want to think twice about walking. Calling a taxi or having a designated driver bring you home may be a safer option.

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